Kashrut: Jewish Dietary Laws


 Levana's Table by Levana KirschenbaumPeople who do not keep kosher often tell me how difficult it is. Actually, keeping kosher is not particularly difficult in and of itself; what makes it difficult to keep kosher is the fact that the rest of the world does not do so.

Kashrut (in Hebrew)

As we shall see below, the basic underlying rules are fairly simple. If you buy your meat at a kosher butcher and buy only kosher certified products at the market, the only thing you need to think about is the separation of meat and dairy.

Keeping kosher only becomes difficult when you try to eat in a non-kosher restaurant, or at the home of a person who does not keep kosher. In those situations, your lack of knowledge about your host’s ingredients and the food preparation techniques make it very difficult to keep kosher. Some commentators have pointed out, however, that this may well have been part of what God had in mind: to make it more difficult for us to socialize with those who do not share our religion.

The Fundamental Rules

Although the details of kashrut are extensive, the laws all derive from a few fairly simple, straightforward rules:

  1. Certain animals may not be eaten at all. This restriction includes the flesh, organs, eggs and milk of the forbidden animals.
  2. Of the animals that may be eaten, the birds and mammals must be killed in accordance with Jewish law.
  3. All blood must be drained from the meat or broiled out of it before it is eaten.
  4. Certain parts of permitted animals may not be eaten.
  5. Meat (the flesh of birds and mammals) cannot be eaten with dairy. Fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables and grains can be eaten with either meat or dairy. (According to some views, fish may not be eaten with meat).
  6. Utensils that have come into contact with meat may not be used with dairy, and vice versa. Utensils that have come into contact with non-kosher food may not be used with kosher food. This applies only where the contact occurred while the food was hot.
  7. Grape products made by non-Jews may not be eaten.

From http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/ Watch and hear short video explaining Kashrut laws:http://www.encyclopedia.com/video/CvdG-m-E4Vc-10-minute-topics-kashrut.aspx

MORE:There are too many human beings today who have lost their inner censor and give in to unacceptable emotions, often followed by unacceptable, unhealthy and illegal deeds. It teaches self control, which is essential for all humans, be they Jewish or otherwise. It teaches that we must not have everything that our heart desires. kosher laws serve the purpose of helping people to suppress their impulses.

There are many directives and dictates connected with the kosher laws which are difficult for the uninitiated to comprehend. For example, for the orthodox Jewish person, it is necessary to have four sets of dishes totally separated from each other: dairy dishes for milk products, meat dishes for meals which include meat of any kind, Passover dairy dishes, and Passover meat dishes. There are only certain fish that are kosher. They must have scales and fins to be acceptable. No shellfish may be eaten. There times between three and six hours that kosher eaters must wait between eating dairy foods after having had meat. The separate dishes must be washed by themselves – not in the same pan. A very strict orthodox Jew does not eat in other than a strictly kosher restaurant. From http://www.jbuff.com/

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